CES 2007: The Geeks’ Thoughts on the Bill Gates Keynote

Here’s what I thought of Gates’ keynote. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that he focused on Microsoft’s latest product, Windows Vista, but nevertheless, I was still disappointed that he wasn’t more inclusive of the industry as a whole. I did think that there were a lot of cool features in Vista, but wonder if I’m going to bother to upgrade anytime soon amid the DRM and Licensing uproars.

What I thought was useful:

  • On the fly search results as you type your query
  • Searching across multiple PCs and Internet sources
  • The ability to restore old versions of documents
  • Preview content of files in Windows Explorer
  • Restyle and preview styles quickly in Office

What I thought was cool:

  • Fly-through of a 3D map using an XBOX controller plugged into the PC drawing data from Windows Live
  • SportLounge feature in the Media Center edition that gives up to the minute scores and news as well as being able to track fantsy leagues
  • Can play games on XBOX Live

I wasn’t blown away by the entertainment features, although in fairness, they seemed reasonably thought out, although I was left with the feeling that there were a lot of functions missing that I would figure out when I played with it. I guess it did get a ‘gee whiz’ reaction from the audience, and while I’m hardly an Apple fan boy, I did feel it was a “We can do what Apple does now too” approach. They will probably end up keeping their existing Windows users who were thinking about switching. I was completely disappointed that security in Vista was not addressed. Given all of this, I also don’t see Vista as being a necessary upgrade for corporate environments, or even for lots of consumers, but given the way the computer industry works with Microsoft, it will happen anyway.